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Old 08-05-2020, 11:59 AM   #2
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,298
The east stretch of ponds (Rock Pond, Clear Pond, and Grizzle Ocean) get... relatively less use than the Pharaoh Lake/Pharaoh Mountain/Crane Pond side of the Wilderness Area. Treadway Mountain is also a stupendous climb with very nice views (nicer than Pharaoh, IMO). Bushwhack a few hundred feet south-south-west of the summit, directly towards Pharaoh Lake, for an awesome panoramic view of that lake. As I understand it, they are allowing backcountry overnight users into Putnam Pond to access the backcountry, with the normal fee for parking at the boat launch. I think that this fee does keep the use levels on this side of the Wilderness Area lower compared to those other areas.

But that's in relative terms. These ponds can and do fill to capacity- it's just that said capacity is much lower than at Crane Pond (which has 10 designated tent sites) or Pharaoh Lake (which has 6 lean-tos and 15 designated tent sites). Rock Pond has 2 lean-tos (Rock and Little Rock) plus 3 designated tent sites- one on the east shore just north of the Rock Pond Lean-to, one on the north shore just west of the tip of the broad peninsula, and one on the west shore just north of the outlet. Clear Pond has the lean-to on the east shore, plus a designated tent site on the west shore. Grizzle Ocean has the lean-to on the north shore, plus a designated tent site on the east shore (set up and away from the water). So it doesn't take a whole lot of use to fill up the sites on these ponds.

There's also a single designated tent site each at Heart Pond (on the east shore, small but nice) and at Bear Pond (on the southeast shore, set back a bit form the water but really nice with tons of flat ground). These sites don't really seem to get a whole lot of use.

Are you comfortable with following unmarked herd paths/bushwhacking? Whortleberry Pond has 2 designated tent sites that get pretty little use, accessed via an old herd path from Pharaoh Lake. One of these sites is on the northeast shore, the other is on the north shore but pretty close to the west end of the lake.

Another thing to be aware of is that Pharaoh has pretty bad mosquitoes compared to the rest of the Adirondacks. Bring a bug net and bug spray for sure. In a normal season, the bugs last well into September in the Pharaoh Wilderness.
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